The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Owerri Branch has written the Executive Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma, in respect of the security situation of the state.
In a letter dated 3rd June, 2021, signed by its Chairman, J. I. Ogamba and Secretary, Chinedu Agu, the NBA Owerri Branch condemns the killings taking place in the state. The Branch said NBA is a watch dog of the society and aims to ensure that Rule of Law is protected.
“Your Excellency, you will agree with us that the Bar is, by its position and calling, a watchdog and mouthpiece of the society. The Bar ensures that the Rule of Law is at all times protected and adhered to not minding whose ox is gored. It bears restating the Rule of Law is what distinguishes our present-day Imo State from the Hobbesian society where life is nasty, brutish, and short; where the strong preyed on the weak and where might was always right.
“Recall that the media, both traditional and social, has been awash with daily reports of the indiscriminate and extrajudicial killings of innocent and unarmed Imoites including security personnel, mass arrests and detention of citizens and other measures which altogether violate the basic tenets of our 1999 Constitution (as amended).
A worthy mention is the unfortunate case of Miss Divine Nwaneri (a student of Imo State University, Owerri, Imo State) who was gunned down, without justifiable reason, by security agents attached to the Government House, Owerri, Imo State. Another is the painful slaying of late Mr. Chigbu Noel who was unlawfully killed by soldiers at Amakohia and his remains casually dumped at the mortuary of the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Imo State; not forgetting the killing of Mr. Oguchi N his way to the Imo Airport by Military Personnel. These callous actions by the security operatives are barbaric and should be condemned by all men of goodwill and conscience.
“The Bar strongly condemns in no uncertain terms these extrajudicial killings of innocent citizens as being unconstitutional, barbaric, unjustifiable, cold-blooded, and reprehensible. It is unheard of, anywhere in the civilized world that innocent citizens are moved down in cold blood, 9n flimsy and whimsical excuses by those who are supposed to protect them.
The Bar also condemns the wanton destruction of Government properties, Police Stations, INEC Facilities, Killing of Police Men, Military Men and other Security agents.” the letter reads in part.
Furthermore, the NBA said it has been under pressure from the society to condemn the failure of government to act including the barbaric actions of individuals and security agents, however, it wants to, first of all, get firsthand information regarding the security situation
Thus, it calls on the state government to give the NBA an audience so as to discuss the way forward on peace and security in the state.
The letter further reads, “Your Excellency, the Bar has been under intense and enormous pressure from the larger Imo society and even beyond to join the crowd to condemn these inactions of Government as well as the primitive and barbaric actions of individuals including security agents highlighted above. As a responsible and responsive partner 8n the arduous task of nation nay state-building, the Bar has so far resisted the urge to go public to condemn the State Government and the security agents without engaging State Government in order to have firsthand knowledge of the security situation in the State.”
“It is therefore on this premise, Your Excellency, that the Bar requests to have an audience with Your Excellency with a view to engaging the State Government in our bid to chart a course for Peace and Security in the State.”
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